(Tremendous sobbing and shrieking is heard. I rush toward my youngest child who stamps and yells at full throttle in her bedroom. I do a quick body scan, searching for blood, vomit, a severed limb.)
Cassie: What? What? What?!!!!
Gigi: My tooth! It’s gone. I put it right there under my pillow!
Cassie: Just now? Or when you got home from school?
Gigi: (lip trembling uncontrollably, eyes gushing non-stop, nose dripping relentlessly) When I got home from school! Ahhhh!
Cassie: Gigi, why didn’t you keep it in the tooth holder thing-y that the nurse gave you?
Gigi: (hiccuping violently) I don’t know.
(New round of sobbing and shrieking.)
Charlie: (guitar playing stops abruptly; yelling from his bedroom) Dear God, find the tooth already! Make it stop!
Cassie: (yelling back) What do you think I’m doing?! I’M LOOKING FOR IT!!!!
(I proceed to get down on my hands and knees then pick up and examine every piece of lint, every wayward crumb that can be found on Gigi’s bright pink rug.)
Gigi: (stabbing her words at me…as if the tooth misplacement is all my fault) I NEED that money from the tooth fairy! I NEED it for the book fair tomorrow! Awwww! I lost my tooth. I lost my tooth.
Scott (yelling upstairs from the kitchen) What the Hell? She lost another tooth?
Cassie: (yelling back downstairs) No! No! Gigi lost her tooth under her pillow!!!
(Suddenly, the crying fit ceases for a moment, a thought is forming)
Gigi: Does the tooth fairy need to see the tooth? Can she just look at the hole in my teeth on the bottom…where it’s missing? Can she just give me money anyway?
Charlie: (standing in Gigi’s bedroom doorway, holding his guitar, shaking his head, smirking) You need the tooth, dum-dum. That’s the proof! Pffft.
(Gigi starts wailing anew.)
Cassie: Alright. Not helping. Go back to your room, Charlie.
Charlie: Just saying.
(Running my hands slowly across the fitted bed sheet, I finally make contact with the baby tooth.)
Cassie: Eureka! Found it!
Scott: (yelling from the foot of the stairs) Did you find the tooth? Is everyone okay? The dogs are going crazy down here from all the crying and yelling.
Cassie: We’re fine! Yup! We found the tooth in her bed!
(Gigi gives a sigh of relief and blows her nose loudly. Charlie picks at the strings of his guitar while sauntering back to his room. Another chaotic evening in the Bollinger household begins to quiet and becomes more still, save for Charlie’s steady strumming and the occasional hiccup emitted by the young child who anxiously awaits her first visit from the tooth fairy.)